Your Humble Narrator, Jon Dellaira
Ask Texas : Do You Want To Know What I Think?...Ranted by Jhyanathan R. Dellaira
I'm tired of thinly disguising my rants and stories as an advice column, Time for a new feature: The World According to Tejas or otherwise known as - Do You Want To Know What I Think?
In my travels ........
Having not been more things than I have been in my life, one thing I've always been is a careful observer of my surroundings or more specifically, my fellow humans ....... Well, that's not exactly right, I see a lot of funny shit because I have an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right, (or, more often than not) wrong time. A few years ago, before I entered the world of "High stakes, life or death" retail, I used to drive a lot as an on site mechanic & pickup and delivery truck driver for a small repair shop. On an average day I would log up as many as 300 miles traveling from one place to another in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and sometimes New York or even Maryland. The truck given to me to complete these treks in was an old, beat up 1985 Chevy C3500 with 250,000 miles on it, a half working lift gate and, worst of all, no radio. This left me a lot of time to ponder life and get lost in my own thoughts. Since most of the thoughts in my head are downright scary, I would usually terrify myself enough to avoid such introspection and just sit back and enjoy the show unfolding around me.
Some of these observations are weird, funny, and stupid but all true.
Traveling back and forth to Philadelphia, I used to see a lot of crazy stuff. One time I had the pleasure of noticing a crazed, drunken, fat oriental driving a seafood truck on I-95 like it was an Indy car. He was weaving in and out of traffic behind me with the precision of a samurai. When he started to pass me, something told me to look over at him. I was greeted by a smiling round face wearing a kamikaze rising sun bandanna around his forehead. I rode there next to him, transfixed for a moment, until he shouted out "BANZAI!!!!!", gave me a salute, and blew on by me on his date with destiny.
Another time, I was pulling around a City Trash Truck when I noticed "Go Giants!" written in huge 3 ft tall letters on the side of the truck. Normally this would be amusing on its own being that it was a Philadelphia trash truck and most people in Philly hate the New York football Giants, but as I pulled up next to the cab, I saw a huge, 400lb black woman singing and dancing and clapping her hands all while she was driving the truck, flanked by two equally funny, skinny black guys in full coveralls doing the same thing. I don't know if they were listening to the radio, or if she was preaching some sort of "Trash Truck Revival" or what, but I do know I saw three people enjoying their ride in their giant, Giants trash truck.
One other time it was slow going driving into Philly on I-95 during a snow storm, I passed what looked like a Vega station wagon pulled over to the side of the road, abandoned and fully engulfed in a swirl of smoke. Up ahead about 15 or 20 feet from the car, I passed its driver walking away with a quilt wrapped around him for warmth. Right as I was contemplating pulling over to pick the hapless guy up, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the poor fellow running away from the car. The whole back of the wagon exploded in a fire ball, blowing off and hurling the hatch about 10ft into the air. I don't know if the force of the blast knocked him over, or if he just tripped, but the guy fell over in the snow in a heap. The quilt he was wrapped in was briefly blown over his head but then the wind caught it and it flew off the side of the expressway to parts unknown. Startled, I stepped on the gas and hightailed it out of there, leaving behind the stranded sucker - nice guy, huh?
Another time, while Rt. 295 was under construction, this asshole in a silver Nissan 240SX was really driving like a jerk, cutting people off, speeding and swerving in and out of traffic behind me. Trying to piss him off and for my own amusement, I pulled alongside a box truck in the passing lane with a very serious looking dude at the wheel and cut the 240SX off from passing us. The guy in the 240SX, furious, started flashing his lights, honking his horn, and giving me and the the box truck's driver the finger. After a couple of minutes of this, I decided to let him by. Remember how I said 295 was under construction? Well there was a lot of orange traffic cones lined up on the side of the road. Just as I was letting the box truck pass me, its driver, apparently having enough of the jerk tailing him, decided to swerve over just enough to start running over the cones. They started flying out from all over the back of his truck, smashing and tumbling into the 240SX's front and windshield, scaring the driver enough to make him swerve off the road - and we were doing 60 mph!. I pulled up next to the box truck and gave the "Cool Hand Luke" sunglasses-wearing driver a thumbs up. To this day, that guy is a God in my book.
Not all of my adventures involved other motorists: Take, for example, the time in Collingswood, NJ. I saw a man with no legs walking on his hands in the rain into a bank while his companion, who just happened to be a midget, held an umbrella over his head - er ... uh ass - rather. Or the time I pulled into a rest stop on the Jersey turnpike to pee. When I came back out, I was startled to find an elderly man sitting in the passenger seat of my truck. I sat down next to him and asked him if he'd heard any good jokes lately. Politely, he told me one, and then excused himself as his wife and grand-kids came, took him away and apologized profusely. There was the time I had to pick up a job at Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. and ran into an ape hunt. One of the Maintenance guys there said that some of the monkeys had broken out of the pen and were running around terrorizing all of the Mexican groundskeepers or "Actors" as he called them. A few minutes later, we heard a crash followed by screams of Latin terror as five or six workers ran past, followed by five or six monkeys, followed by five or six more people swinging nets at them. One of the monkeys actually smiled at me as he passed.
One of the most famous of my observations is the so-called "Human Trampoline" story. One time, in the fall, I was in Trenton running errands. I was stopped in some traffic because a catholic school had just let out and the kids and buses were all crossing the road. Next to me was a nice looking house with an elevated-type lawn that ended at a little retaining wall that dropped a foot down to the sidewalk. Next to the wall was a huge pile of raked up leaves. I saw a couple of little black kids gathered at the side of the house plotting something and peaking around the corner at their mother who was sitting on the wall chatting with one of the crossing guards. All of a sudden, everything turned to slow motion and one of the littlest kids ran around the corner and headed full steam right for his mother. Just as it appeared he was going to crash into her back, he leapt into the air, landed square on his mothers shoulders with his feet, compressing her spine like a spring. Using her as a human spring board, he flew through the air in a perfect swan dive, and landed in the leaves with a crash and a flurry. He then stood up with his arms out in victory and bowed to his audience - then ran for dear life. His mother picked herself up off the pavement, I pissed my pants.
Well, like I said, I am an observer of my surroundings, nothing more.
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